By Michelle Tay
A NEW survey from Barclays Wealth finds that family-owned businesses in Singapore are better positioned to ride out the recession than public companies.

The report claims the shared objectives of family members binds businesses closely together. Such objectives include a long-term approach to creating and protecting wealth.

The enjoyment of making money mattered least to family businesses in Singapore, while the opportunity to beat the competition and help others through philanthropy ranked as top motivators.

In contrast, publicly-listed companies had shorter-term goals where the immediate objective was to make money and report healthy bottom lines every quarter, said Barclays.

The survey, involving 2,300 individuals worldwide with investible assets of between £1 million and £30 million, also said publicly-listed companies were also typically more highly-geared than family-owned businesses.

The biggest advantage for family businesses was the strong support of family members, with 39 per cent of total respondents and 55 per cent of the Singapore respondents thinking so.

Globally, the second biggest advantage was their ability to think long term, and the third was making decisions quickly.

For the Singapore respondents, shared values and ethos constituted the second biggest advantage, followed by quick decision making.

The greatest risk to the success of family businesses, however, was lack of succession planning. But, if they get this right, they emerge even stronger.
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